Once again Woods proves the clincher at Presidents Cup

Mon Oct 7, 2013 4:16am EDT
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By Simon Evans

DUBLIN, Ohio (Reuters) - Tiger Woods, despite battling back pain, clinched the decisive point for the United States at a Presidents Cup for the third straight time on Sunday, holding on for a one-up victory over Richard Sterne.

Woods was 4-1 for the week, the best record of any of the 24 players involved in the biennial team competition, but he faced a surprisingly stiff test from the South African.

In intermittent rain at a sodden Muirfield Village Golf Club, the world number one had trailed after bogeying the par-five seventh but he got in front when Sterne bogeyed the 16th and sealed the win with a comfortable par at the 18th hole.

"It feels good. It was a team effort this whole week. We really played well and gave ourselves a really nice lead going into the singles and it was a tough day, tough conditions, rain, wind, tough all around," said Woods.

United States captain Fred Couples said he began to wonder how his team were going to wrap up what had earlier looked like a comfortable victory and Woods, whose back problem flared up again on the 14th, said he had felt some of that uneasiness too.

"I was like in a similar position as Freddie; where is our fourth point going to come from? I was at a point where I wasn't feeling my best coming down the stretch, and happened to get a one‑up lead," said Woods.

"I was just trying to hang on to that. Problem was, I knew I wasn't feeling good, and if I happened to mess up 18 we had to continue playing until it was decided.

"I really don't want to play anymore. I just thought - can I win, can I halve this last hole, somehow? And it ended up being that way.   Continued...

U.S. golfer Tiger Woods tees off on the first hole against International team member Richard Sterne of South Africa during the Singles matches for the 2013 Presidents Cup golf tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio October 6, 2013. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT GOLF)